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Tuesday, 12 November 2002
Page: 6154


Senator ABETZ (Special Minister of State) (10:23 PM) —With great respect, the argument that somebody might be prosecuted as a result of a mistake is covered in section 9 of the Criminal Code. That simply would not happen. I quote section 9.1(1):

A person is not criminally responsible for an offence that has a physical element for which there is a fault element other than negligence if:

(a) at the time of the conduct constituting the physical element, the person is under a mistaken belief about, or is ignorant of, facts; and

(b) the existence of that mistaken belief or ignorance negates any fault element applying to that physical element.

If somebody, as was put to us, honestly imports substances not being aware that they contain certain products derived from human embryo clones they are not criminally liable. So we can dispense with the argument, and we move back to the question that I did ask, for which I have still not received an answer, and that is this: I fully accept the difficulty in identifying some of this product coming into the country, but as a matter of principle what is the attitude to the importation of products or components derived from a human embryo clone? Does the COAG agreement support that or does it reject it?